The TBC Arena season is underway, so what better time to know if your class can cut it with the rest of them or not.
The first PvP season got underway in TBC Classic so what better time to look at what classes are going to be popular in Season 1. Below we’ll focus on the DPS classes for PvP season 1, with the tiers mostly based on a class's ability to fit into multiple compositions.
- Shadow Priest
How to play as a Rogue or beat one in Arena
How to play a Rogue
Get used to seeing a lot of rogues in PvP, well, ironically you won’t see them a lot which is part of the problem. With amazing burst damage, survivability and interrupts, rogues will be a dominant force across all three arena brackets. As a Rogue, you’ll need to use your cooldowns with care, however, using them poorly will remove your team's kill threat, and cost you your window to kill the enemy team.
How to play against a Rogue
With rogues being such a common arena class, pre-game countering them with a hunter could be a valid tactic. Dropping a flair or using tack hidden could turn the tide of the early game, which should give you the upper hand. Another tactic is to bring your own rogue to counter the opponent’s one. This way, you can counter their aggression on the enemy team once their rogue engages. Lastly, you can abuse their long cooldowns by going defensive when they engage on you, effectively turtling their main damage.
How to play Warlock or beat one in Arena
How to play a Warlock
Warlocks excel at crowd control and cleave damage, making them ideal in the 3v3 or 5v5 arena modes. Affliction will provide most of the damage in the arena due to their sustained damage over a longer fight. With a total of five dots, a Warlock can pile the pressure on the enemy team’s healer, with Unstable Affliction especially causing healers a nightmare.
How to play against a Warlock
Their mana pool is one of their biggest weaknesses. If you can drain it with a hunter or priest, Warlocks can quickly find themselves in a tight spot, due to them having to Life Tap to regain mana fast. Warlocks also aren’t as defensive as some specs, especially when it comes to mobility, making them a good target to burst down early and get them on the back foot.
How to play Mage or beat one in Arena
How to play a Mage
Despite dropping down the DPS charts in TBC, Mages are a dominant force in the Arena. They have great control, survivability and damage making them one of the most common classes in 2v2 or 3v3 Arena. Mage is also a mainstay in what’s likely to be two of the most dominant combinations, Rogue, Mage and Rogue, Mage, Priest. These two setups have always been dominant in Arena, and that all started in TBC season 1.
How to play against a Mage
Unlike other specs, beating a Mage is a long game, due to their many layers of survivability. In fact, most people will tend to focus on the Mages other members, opting instead to try and CC the Mage. Trying to get rid of a Mages Ice Block (plus the second one with Cold Stap) then you might be able to focus them down. Ultimately, Mages are a tricky customer, with a huge toolkit of tricks to throw at you. Pay attention to what they use, and try to counter any engagement they make, forcing them to use defensive options.
Quick tips and counters
Tip: Mace Specialization and Mortal Strike are key, focus on healers or key targets for burst.
Counter: Use slows and fears to keep the warrior out of the fight for as long as possible
Tip: Try to Arcane Shot key target and maintain Aimed Shot on priority healer target
Counter: Watch for burst damage due to low levels of resilience hunters can 100 to 0 a target very fast. Look to get in melee range of them to reduce this.
Tip: Utilize Dispel Magic on key targets, especially removing major enemy cooldowns.
Counter: Abuse the classes lack of survivability and need to leave Shadow Form to heal. Priest also requires a high skill cap to play well.
Tip: For enhancement focus on 3v3 and 5v5 as 2v2 is tough on your kit. For Elemental 5v5 is where you’ll shine with Bloodlust and Totems able to affect the entire group.
Counter: Shamans are good in bursts, but struggle over sustained fights. Be careful of their power in 5v5 Arena, especially during Bloodlust.
Tips: Balance druid should focus on Cyclone and off-healing in 3v3 or 5v5. For Feral, focus on 2v2 in dual-DPS compositions to do high burst.
Counter: Both specs struggle in Arena, and are easy opening targets due to their lack of sustain.
Tips: Stick to 2v2 or 3v3, your lack of offensive cooldowns means you need to stick to a healer to do damage. Cleanse and Blessing of Freedom are key to your sticking power.
Counter: Paladins have just Avenging Wrath as an offensive CD, focus on either stealing it or dispelling it. While Paladins can cleanse CC, it cost mana, making sustainability an issue.